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Looking beyond the obvious to figure out the Entry Points of Racial Awareness and Bias in Children: A Commentary of Waxman (2021)
  • Shardul Shankar
Shardul Shankar

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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In “Racial Awareness and Bias Begin Early: Developmental Entry Points, Challenges, and a Call to Action”, Waxman (2021) argues that there is a dramatic overestimation by the community when it comes to evidence of the time-frame when it should be discussed with children (p. 898). To counter this problem, they promote the intention of identifying “the developmental roots of these prejudices, forces that sustain them, and pathways to reduce them” (p. 893). The goal of Waxman is to advance the entry points of this bias, especially in our infants and children, as there are obvious and apparent damaging consequences to the children, their communities and the society as a whole. They advocate the use of a more “comprehensive research agenda”, specifically the use of larger empirical base, methodological tool-kit, and psychological-science framework to identify the preliminary stages of the acquisition of racial bias. They look back into the large body of experimental and empirical evidence to provide an overview of the development of racial bias in young children and infants. They then provide a substantially comprehensive framework to tackle this issue. Finally, Waxman argues that the strongest tool to advance the understanding and tackling of early racial bias is by arming the parents, teachers, and other policymakers with strong empirical evidence and evidence-based recommendations, which would allow for better conversations within the families and classrooms.